How To Paint Trim Work and Fixtures

Trim work like doors, frames and casework are usually constructed of wood, vinyl, or metal. Paint the entrance and exit points last, as this will allows the paint finishes will be undisturbed and allowed to dry upon completion of the room. It is easiest to paint a door on its hinges, by cleaning the hinges with rubbing alcohol, masking with two coats of rubber cement. Remove or mask doorknobs, locks, and other hardware. You can prep the window trim in the same ways.

Painting A Door

Tools and Materials: 

  • Sandpaper 
  • Sanding block 
  • Wire brush (optional) 
  • Wood putty or filler 
  • Rags 
  • Painter’s tape 
  • Angled trim brush 
  • Primer for bare wood


  1. Tape down a drop cloth to collect debris, if vacuuming or sweeping is something you do not wish to do after the work is done.
  1. Sand the surface sheen off painted trim. Flat areas should be sanded with a sanding block and fine-grit sandpaper, while rounded and detailed portion of the trim can be sanded with a piece of sandpaper wrapped around fingers or folded into a pad and work the sandpaper as deep into the trim as possible.
  1. Remove loose, chipped or cracked paint with a wire brush or medium-grit sandpaper. Remedy any moisture if you spot any old paint peeling or heat-related problems before repainting the window or door.
  1. Fill any cracks or holes with wood putty. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and let dry. You can also use wood putty. Fill up any gaps in the mitered corners of window and door casings, with paintable water-base caulk. Wipe off excess caulk with a wet rag. Let dry. Then sand any areas where putty or filler has been applied. Wipe the surface with a clean, damp cloth or tack cloth.
  1. Brush on the first coat of paint with an angled trim brush, following the grain of wood and long strokes. Allow to dry. Make sure you do not paint opening trim like windows and doors, shut after the paint dries for an house or so. Apply a second coat of paint, if desired.


Painting Bathroom Countertops

Tools and Materials

  • Fine-grade sandpaper 
  • Wiping cloth 
  • Paint roller 
  • Primer such as Kilz 
  • Latex paint 
  • Clear-drying latex polyurethane 
  1. Prep the surface by sanding with fine-grade sandpaper to lightly scuff away the gloss, but not sand away the color. Wipe the surface clean, then lightly roll on a coat of primer for nonporous surfaces. Allow to dry, then apply a base coat of latex paint. 
  2. Allow to dry, then apply three to five coats of clear-drying latex polyurethane, allowing each coat to dry before adding the next one. You can also use spar varnish for better durability, but bear in mind that this will have a yellowing effect on the paint underneath.
  3. For melamine shelving and cabinets, lightly sand the surface, but do not to damage the melamine surface. Wash with a Tri Sodium Phosphate (TSP) solution. Allow to dry, then roll on a thin coat of primer for nonporous surfaces. Finish by rolling on two coats of latex paint.
  4. If you have scratched or water-damaged melamine, replace them instead of trying to paint over them.


      Painting Ceilings

      Always paint your ceilings before you paint walls. Use a roller with a telescoping handle and paint two coats, with the first coat in the same direction as the major light source (such as a window) and a second coat perpendicular to the light. 

      A textured ceiling will use 10-15 percent more paint. Use a foam roller that will conform to the textured surface and provide an even coverage. 

      Painting Brick Fireplace 

      Clean the brick thoroughly with a wire brush and nonsudsy trisodium phosphate (TSP) to loosen grime. 

      Apply a primer after the cleaning. Use a stain-blocking primer to hide any soot stains. When choosing paint for a fireplace, take into consideration that the higher the gloss, the more it will resist soot. Satin or semigloss paint are recommended. High-temperature paints can be used on metal that\’s part of the surround, but don\’t paint the inside of a fireplace.


      If you plan to paint on furniture with finished wood surface, use an oil-base sealer. An oil-base paint creates a harder finish as a top coat. Use a clear primer if you want the wood\’s grain to be seen through the paint.

      Spray-painting may be a quicker option if you are painting textured furniture. For plastic furniture, use a spray paint specifically designed for plastic. For metal furniture, look for a spray paint that has corrosion inhibitors to help prevent rust.